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Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB), in partnership with the Westmoreland County Land Bank announced their Strategic Community Greening Partnership Pilot Program with a $2,000 seed grant to the “The Seeds of Change Project” for a community garden in Jeannette, PA.
The Seeds of Change (Jeannette, PA) project is a cooperative effort between the Westmoreland County Land Bank, the City of Jeannette and private citizens to transform a blighted, abandoned property into a community garden. The Project property, located on Clay Ave. in Jeannette, is currently a vacant overgrown lot full of trash and debris blighting the community. The initiative will be a multiple step program with the first step commencing on December 5th to clean and clear the space, readying it for spring. Future plans include building multiple raised gardens, a greenhouse, shared public gardens and a tranquil seating space. The project will reach out to the community to tend and maintain the space. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful. Shannon Reiter, KPB President explains the significance of the partnership with the Westmoreland County Land Bank: “Community revitalization is so critical but resources are limited. When it comes to community greening, a little can go a long way if it is done right. Through this pilot, KPB is leveraging resources by coordinating investments with economic and community planning already underway and then engaging local community organizations to nurture long-term community stewardship.”“Communities like Jeannette are mobilizing local community groups to take back their towns. The Land Bank makes it possible for volunteers and local leaders to come together as neighbors to create a better community image –both physically and socially- on a once-blighted property. We are so appreciative of the funding from KPB toward this community garden,” said April Kopas, Executive Director, Westmoreland County Land Bank.KPB’s Strategic Community Greening Partnership Pilot is supported by the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The Pilot aims to fund 2-4 individual green reuse projects throughout Westmoreland County in partnership with the Westmoreland County Land Bank. Each initiative will require a 50% community match and funds can be used to procure tools, equipment, green infrastructure, fencing or other resources needed to create, stabilize and maintain greenspaces. Project sites are identified based on current properties available to purchase or lease through the Land Bank. Sites will be considered for the pilot project once all other re-use options have been exhausted and local stakeholders determine that green-open space reuse is the preferred and most viable option for the community.